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108 Reviews
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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for anyone who has anything to do with India
Being an Indian myself, I can tell you that this book is an authentic account about India. It is obvious that the author is someone who has lived and traveled in India over a long period of time. India is such a vast country that it is difficult for even Indians to gain such a depth of knowledge about the country as this author has achieved.

From the insights...
Published on June 18, 2010 by Satyanarayana Pamarty

versus
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overly cautious - possibly off putting
I had to go to India for a work project and having never been, bought and read this book. As I was reading it I felt more and more anxious and really did not want to go - it felt as if everything us westerners do will necessarily offend someone in India. How overstated? Given, we've been to Mumbai and Chennai - both big cities, but very few of the do's and don'ts were...
Published 17 months ago by Ronel


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71 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must buy for anyone who has anything to do with India, June 18, 2010
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This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
Being an Indian myself, I can tell you that this book is an authentic account about India. It is obvious that the author is someone who has lived and traveled in India over a long period of time. India is such a vast country that it is difficult for even Indians to gain such a depth of knowledge about the country as this author has achieved.

From the insights that the book oozes, it is evident that the author has travelled the breadth and height of India. I have read a few other accounts about India by westerners and was always disappointed by the superficial nature of those books and observations.

However, this book was a surprise. With a very humorous point of view, it was thoroughly enjoyable and I read it in almost one sitting. It is a must for anyone to carry and read if they are visiting India even for a brief time. This book prepares you for the surprises that await here.

The author's observations are presented without bias and prejudice. It was an open minded thesis that delved deep into the psyche of the Indian phenomenon. This is obviously an effort that should have spanned several years of unrelenting research and observation.

Whatever it is, this certainly is not anything that falls under the genre of books that typically stereotype India. It looks beyond the usual shocking point of view of India as a country of elephants and tigers. This book is about the real contemporary India and about real Indians.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it to anyone with an interest in India. I also commend and thank the author for an unbiased view of my country that I so love.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to Know India, July 18, 2010
By 
K. Sands (New Hampshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
Enjoying India - A Traveler's Handbook

An Indian tour guide once said that to really get to know and appreciate India one must live amongst its' people experiencing how they live their daily lives - walk amongst the crowded streets, shop at the local markets, visit the temples, and completely immerse oneself by living firsthand as an Indian does. Only then will one be able to truly understand and appreciate the people,the country and the culture.

Ms. Viharini's new book Enjoying India - A Traveler's Handbook is clearly written by someone who has done just that! Hence it serves as the perfect companion for any foreigner's sojourn throughout the country. In fact, I would strongly encourage anyone contemplating a trip to India to read it before leaving home and familiarize oneself with all the numerous topics covered then use it as a resource book throughout one's travels. You will quickly realize how Ms Viharini has very extensively covered everything that you might encounter on your travels e.g., preparation & arrival; cultural differences; numerous ways to get around India; safety & security to cite just a few.

Of all the hundreds of books on India, I find there is none that is a clearly "how to" book like Ms. Viharini's. Traveling with a copy of this book on your next trip to India can only enhance your experience. It is so comprehensive that a traveler would be truly lost without it.
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Travel Book on India, June 13, 2010
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
This is my favorite travel book on the market for India. Every page is worth reading, as the author obviously has years of experience traveling in India. If you are planning to go to India, this is the top book on the market. Take it with you -- you'll find that the advice given is like having your own personal guide, telling you things that you may have never thought about. I fully recommend this book!
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the book to have!, April 12, 2012
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
This is the book to have if you are a first time or seasoned traveller in India or doing business there.

This book was written by someone who has lived for years in India, speaks the language, and has travelled extensively and even done business there. It can give you advice that you won't get anywhere else. My experience from living and working in India is that Indians are very friendly and polite, but they won't tell you what is really going on unless you know them quite well. And that takes a long time, so most tourists miss out on a lot that India has to offer.

The book is clearly by an insider who understands and respects the culture and the people, and tells you from firsthand experience all the practical things you need to know to get around smoothly, safely and enjoyably.

There are chapters on travel, money matters, food, and medical tips to keep you healthy. There are also very insightful sections on Indian culture and how to gain the most from the personal relationships you have with Indians you meet from all levels of society. The section for women traveling in India is very frank and informative.

The book also has chapters covering bargaining and business dealings for the many different types of situations you will encounter in India, both a as a tourist and also if you are there for business. My favorite is the section that tells you about a dozen ways to know when an Indian is really telling you "No" even when he seems to be saying "Yes".

If you want to find places to eat or stay, get the Lonely Planet guide to India. But if you want to know everything else, get this book. Highly recommended.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Overly cautious - possibly off putting, August 24, 2013
By 
Ronel (Cape Town, South Africa) - See all my reviews
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I had to go to India for a work project and having never been, bought and read this book. As I was reading it I felt more and more anxious and really did not want to go - it felt as if everything us westerners do will necessarily offend someone in India. How overstated? Given, we've been to Mumbai and Chennai - both big cities, but very few of the do's and don'ts were real. Even the people we met laughed at our list of do's and don'ts. Honestly, this book is doing more harm to the tourism in India than good! The people are not so easily offended and definitely not so behind the times! I have wonderful time from the moment that I decided to relax.... and forget about this book's lectures!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read for all Visitors, January 4, 2013
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
In this review, you will find everything that you wanted and need to know about the practical and important stuff of everyday life in India for foreigners.

This is how I'd sum up the book "Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook" by J.D. Viharini.

For tourists looking for guidebooks on tourist activities and things to do, this book is not for you. This is a book for how to conduct yourself and understand the culture. Understanding how to communicate, avoid, and solve problems in India in various situations is a common theme in this book. Rather than focus on particular cities or areas, the author has chosen to approach the information in more of a pan-Indian approach. Therefore, most of the advice within these pages are valuable gems that could apply to life in any part of India such as Banglaore, Pune, Kochi, Guwahati, Delhi, Amritsar, Shimla, Patna, Kanyakumari, or even smaller cities, equally well.

As the book is not city or region-specific, readers can relate to India as a country. It offers insight into the kinds of problems foreigners may face, along with possible remedies.

This approach has opened the book to reveal some amazing secrets about Indian culture that many other guides or cross-cultural preparation manuals have missed. A few useful tips from this book that come to my mind are:

* How to book tatkal tickets and why bringing your foreign passport and visa may help expedite purchase of train tickets.
* What to do in the event you hit a cow, goat, buffalo, or camel (or generally get into an accident).
* How to protect yourself, your money, your health, and your well-being. How to prepare for your trip to India if you are handicapped.
* How to post a letter or a package.
* And, what's up with the toilets? How to use an Indian toilet in a house or in a train.

I recommend this book as a guide to survival strategies for foreigners who are travelling or relocating to India. This book will help you to avoid some major headaches especially when moving to India and adjusting to everyday life. As an American who is living in India for a second time, I wish I had this book before I moved here for the second time! I am impressed about how the author has covered such ordinary, mundane, but important and delicate topics in a conversational, down-to-earth way that anyone can relate to.

Thank you for writing this book and sharing it with us, Ms. Viharini. It is surely a god-send to many foreigners planning to visit, already visiting, or living in India.

Edited by Sufi Swarup
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just Excellent, May 2, 2013
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
Just as a fluent, bilingual translator is needed to truly communicate with the peoples of countries who speak different languages, J.D. Viharini has a fluent, comprehensive understanding of both Western culture and Indian culture, being a US citizen and having lived so long in India. She deeply appreciates both cultures and she is in effect translating the experience of India for the new westerner who wishes to truly enjoy an experience in a new, very different culture. Knowing both cultures so well, she can bridge the gap between the two cultures and bring the new comer comfortably across the chasm of inner and outer values and life styles. This book has very carefully connected the main areas that a visitor will need to consider and experience. If one reads this guide book and uses it, the western visitor to India will enjoy a new world, or rather a very old world filled with life and humanity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars insightful, January 25, 2013
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This seems to have more insights and small details than other travel books. I especially appreciate some of the cultural and clothing advice as I will be traveling with a group of teenage girls to India soon and have found myself quoting this guidebook often.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best in-depth book on India, September 27, 2011
By 
Dean M Anderson (Austin, TX, USA - Kausani, India) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
I've lived and worked in India for decades, speak three of the native languages, and have traveled to all four corners of the country. I have never read a more complete book. I'm surprised at those (few) reviewers who said they didn't learn anything from it since it is packed with valuable information, some of which was new and useful even to me. Like any books of this sort I don't agree with everything the author says but it is unique in both its in-depth coverage of the culture and ways to get things done that other travel books only touch the surface of.

The only warning I would have is that it covers how to deal with all kinds of problems that might crop up and that might be intimidating to the newcomer. I would reassure them that India is generally very safe and you will almost never experience the problems listed in some sections. But if you do, you may be glad you have this book.

If you're going to India, it's definitely worth a look. If you're going to be spending a significant amount of time in India, it's almost required.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A practical guide for living or traveling in India, May 3, 2013
This review is from: Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook (Paperback)
I stumbled on to this helpful book when preparing to move to India for 6 months. It was valuable in preparing me mentally and emotionally for the adjustments I would need to make once I arrived. I have been in India 4 months now and have referred to it many, many times for advice on handling a wide variety of social and business situations; from what is expected of me as a guest at a wedding to figuring out what the enigmatic Indian head bobble really means! As a female I especially appreciated the section on Safety and Security. It's a hot topic in India currently. The author addresses nearly every question that a tourist or business traveler to India would ever have.
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Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook
Enjoying India: The Essential Handbook by J D Viharini (Paperback - May 31, 2010)
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